Notlwonk Springs - Wool Trek

Verdentvalleyofcacheandwellsvillemo

The Bigass Boomerang socks had their debut this weekend, solely because it was damn cold in the Cache Valley (actually in ALL of Utah) where the Wool Packers (our spinning guild) spent a sheepy Saturday. Last weekend we broke records for heat, so of course, we had to have snow this weekend. But, somehow the colder temps seemed appropriate, as spinner/knitters we are usually well prepared and love our wool. Oh yes, and there was lamb stew to keep warm, too. Notlwonk is an annual retreat for the group and this was my first year to tag along. Emmylou, Blogless Katherine and I made the trek and enjoyed the whole day.

SandhillcranesinverygreenfieldKnowltonswoolisvariedandwonderful Katherine drove as I gawked out the window at the verdant verde valley, spotting birds and beautiful views along the way.  It was a special treat to see this pair of Sandhill Cranes dancing in a field.  The drive takes us far north of Salt Lake, into the Cache Valley, very near the Idaho border. We arrived at the Knowlton's farm, known as Notlwonk Springs, just in time to settle in and ready for the freeforall of shopping. They have roving, yarn and fleece produced by their flock of Rambouillet/Lincoln.

Abigblurrofpeopleastheygrabforrovin Mybigyummybagofknowltonwool The first place I headed was the "Roving Room", others took off to get the fleece of their choice and still others, headed for the yarn. Everyone was moving so quickly that all you saw was a blur of activity.   Luckily, Judy was there to enabled guide me towards two soft and lovely rovings, one of light brown and another in a soft tan. There should be enough a sweater.  (I'm considering sending it to  Lynn rather than spinning it myself...talk about for.ev.er and boring. I'd rather spend my spinning time playing with color and texture.  There will be plenty of  pleasure while knitting, and I'll still have a Notlwonk sweater.)

Abunchofspinnerschattingandspinning Chattingandspinningandgettingreadyt Spinners and their wheels were packed in tight, but it was so enjoyable to spin and chat with others who love working with fiber.  After shopping, we fortified ourselves with Jo's delicious lamb stew (and other pot luck goodies) and then sat back to enjoy even more spinning and chatting.

Standingwithbagstograballtheskirtst Skirtingsittingreadyforscramble The biggest freeforall of the day comes when all the 'skirts' are piled up in the garage, everyone is given a bag to fill and, on the count of three, grabs up all they can fit into the bag.  You can see in the  picture below that a few heads and a bit of fleece was all I could see during the scrabble.

Askirttingscrambleofheadsandfleece

Lynngivesawarningaboutthescramble Lynn warned me that blood might be drawn, but everyone behaved and I ended up with a small bag of skirts. The main reason I bagged some was for the experience of working with raw wool, that old curiosity thing, and because the weather was so inclement we couldn't visit our friends the sheep.  I know the skirting isn't the best part of a fleece, but it was an easy way to get 'a little' fleece and try the process of washing. (Perhaps you'll all leave me alone and I can say...been there done that!).  Washing wasn't difficult, or even that smelly, but it was time consuming AND it's still drying 24 hours later (in our dry climate)!  If, IF ever I'm tempted by a full fleece, it will go directly to Lynn.

Here is the 'in process' shot and afterwards. Who knows if things will progress from here.

Ewwwwwthedirtyfleece Ahhhhsoftandlovelyfleece

The day was wonderful and Katherine and I got to know each other a little better, too.  My plan is to make it to many, many more Wool Treks at Notlwonk.


Treats with No Tricks

Myfavoritenewbumpersticker
Happy Halloween!!!

Do you like my new bumper sticker? May you have a spooky, fun and treatful day!

Here are the fiber treats from Rhinebeck:

Autumngraftonbattforsusan    Oddcolorsinagraftonbatt

It was much easier to get to Grafton Fiber to pick up a batt than I thought it might be. Everyone was lined up at The Fold for STR, which made it fairly easy to get around the Grafton booth.  I picked up a batt for Susan (she'd asked for an autumn colorway but I went with 'Fire!', which is my name for it).  I also bought myself a batt in one of the strangest color combos I've seen.  It has a bit of black, fuchsia, deeper shades of pink and a bit of a golden straw color.  It should be interesting to spin and play with the colors.

Stephanielogwoodcochcorriedalesilkwithgo Spinningstephaniaslovelyfiber

This ball is Corriedale/silk from Stephania dyed with logwood and cochineal.  Right after I bought the Golding I started to spin this luscious fiber and found that spinning with silk is different than anything I'd spun before.  There is so much to learn about spindle spinning and wheel spinning (which I find to be two different animals-just sayin'). but it's enjoyable to learn more and more. The Golding spindle (Celtic Ring-2 3/4") spins on and on and I'm enjoying it's beauty.

Turqoisefiberfromindigomoon_1

Indigo Moon Farm had so many beautiful colors, but this one really spoke to me.  It's two shades of turquoise with a pale purple line down one side.  It will be interesting to watch it spin into yarn.  The content is 50% alpaca/30% merino/20% silk.  It is so incredibly soft.

Battfrombarnswallowfarmlincolnxcopperros_1 Barnswallow Farms batts are soft and rich in color.  This is Copper Rose and the content is LincolnX.  It was so, so lovely and I just had to have three batts.  This is another fiber I hope to be worthy enough (with much more practice) to spin (someday) on my newly acquired wheel.

Fantomfarmsromney This Fantom Farm Romney roving had so much depth in its unique color combination that I just had to buy it.  It will be interesting to watch as I spin and ply, which I hope to do well enough to keep the colors separate or at least not blend them too much.  The goal was to buy a variety of fiber content and colorways so that I could learn the characteristics of each type and fibure out the best way to spin it.  This likely means a lot of learning by trial and error is in my future.

Snapdragonicelandicsingles_1 Jager Farms Icelandic lace weight singles drew my attention with its lively color. It was the only yarn that enticed me to break the 'no yarn' pledge.  The lovley color, called 'Snapdragons', should make a warm and beautiful shawl. I also bought Blogless Val the same yarn in 'Apple Tree's.  (Karen also got a gift of some beautiful roving.)

Redbattfromspinnershill My last stop was Spinners Hill, where a large bag (over 1 lb) of a deep red, (with bits of black) fiber called out to me. It was so bulky (but very light) that Norma consented to send it to me (and it arrived yesterday).  The goal of buying a variety of fiber was met and I was able to carry most of my purchases (and the wheel) home.  Every time I sit to spin with any of this exquisite fiber I will think of my two days of fiber fun and frenzy at Rhinebeck.


FINALLY! The Rhinebeck Report

But first, the debut of the Cabled Seamans Scarf knit with buffalo/silk yarn made for Smith's Uncle Bob.  Bob was pleased to have a nice warm scarf and even more excited when he found out it was knit with buffalo yarn.  Doesn't he look like Sean Connery?

Uncleboblovesthebuffaloscarf

Pattern: Cabled Seaman Scarf
Designer: Adapted from a stitch pattern in The Knitting Stitch Bible, inspired by Myrna Stahman's book, via help from Susan.
Yarn: Buffalo/silk purchased at SOAR 2005, seller unknown
Time to Knit:  September 20-October 13, 2006

On our way to Rhinebeck Norma and I stopped by Jessie's place to say hello and have lunch with her.  Jessie dyes yarn in the most beautiful color combinations and I can attest to its luxurious softness, too. We dashed through the rain to visit the bird house where her peacock resides and then dashed to the car and off to lunch.  It was a very enjoyable and delightful lunch with good food and great chat. Jessie told us of a wine store near by, so we were able to stop and pick up a nice contribution for Winebeck and this is where the Rhinebeck adventure truly begins. I'll also warn you now that I had camnesia for most of the trip.

Norma's GeePeeeEsssssssss had taken us to Jessie's without trouble (almost).  But when we left the store we were both a bit puzzled by the direction the said GP told us to go.  After driving up and down, turning around and around...we decided to just go with it and give it a mile.  Without maps to consult, we had little choice....so, off we went through farm fields, dirt roads, rural farm landscapes and a swamp. YES, SWAMP!   The first dirt road we hit we just looked at each other in wonder...but kept our heading and stayed the course (yes, we understand that can lead to trouble).  The next time we hit a dirt road I turned to Norma and said "Norma, this is the middle of a swamp!"  Just then a road sign popped up (I swear it came out of nowhere) that read "Swamp Road".  As Judy would say "yep, yep, ye-up".  That confirmed it all right.  Norma commented that maybe I should expect an axe to come out from under her seat, but by then she had my complete trust.  It was a short time later that we both gasped at the sight of this...

Coveredbridgesinromoteplaces

NormadriveslikeaboatoutofhellonthewaytorNorma carefully drove through and kept on truckin'.  It wasn't long before the dear GPS told us the road we sought was just ahead and also that we had saved 20 minutes of time.  It was then we felt safe and relieved.  The rest of the trip looked more like the picture on the right (Carole, Norma is a wicked good driver, just sayin').

It was within a respectable time that we arrived at the hotel in Poughkeepsie and as we walked into the lobby a sea of open arms greeted us.  It is all a blur but I do remember that Laurie, Carole, Stephanie (likely remembered because I had met them before), as well as Sandy, Beth, Cara, Judy, Ann and Vicki. There were so many others to welcome us with hugs and squeals and my brain freezes when I try to replay and remember everyone.  A man checking in asked Norma if it was a high school reunion....a reunion yes!  It was overwhelming (a feeling I had much of the weekend) and awesome to meet so many face to face.

Seaofbloggersatmeetup

Look at the sea of bloggers at the meet up and you'll see why I spent most of the time talking to and hugging people instead of taking pictures. After trying to go through the pictures I did take I became overwhelmed yet again!  So many posts have already been published about Rhinebeck and its glorious days of wine, women and song fiber galore, bloggers galore, fabulous knit items galore, and food to live for.  It seems I am still behind in trying to catch up with life, with home duties, Bloglines, email and even my own blog. 

Please forgive me if I beg off sharing pictures and linking to all the wonderful bloggers (and non-bloggers) I met.  The operative word for the whole weekend has become overwhelming.  I was overwhelmed with kindness, with hugs, with meeting the bloggers I've connected with most,  with fiber and everything else about the weekend.  There is one huge regret, if you can call it that, that came from meeting everyone.  My dearest wish would be that we had had a chance to sit in small groups to chat and knit, to know each other better and in a more normal mode than a fiber/blogger frenzy.  It's not that it wasn't wonderful, it's just that I am so far away and have only blogging as a way to connect (and yes, phone calls, too) and it just wasn't enough.  So many of you are real friends and there just wasn't time to be 'normal', to be real.  There wasn't time to to get to know more of you or even to do more than just hug and say "Nice to meet you!'.  In other words...I WANT MORE!  It was heartwarming and fulfilling to be with so many fiber enthusiasts and friends.

I did put a picture of Laurie and Marcia in the corner of my blog.  Marcia sold me her wonderful Lendrum DT and you can see on Cheryl's blog that she captured the moment of my taking possession. (She has many other fun pictures, too.)  And Laurie? What can one say about such a generous and caring spirit as she? Not only does she have the best hug ever (as you may have heard), but she is a delight and joy to be around.  Thank you Laurie for making my weekend that much more special.  It would be (and hopefully will be) wonderful to sit and chat when there is more time than just the few minutes we had before falling into exhausted sleep after a day of fiber frenzy.

Tomorrow the loot!


Impossible Dream

It seems an impossible feat to tell you about the trip.  Eight days of wonderful family, lovely fiber friends, beautiful sights, and hugs galore are now a blur.  The pictures will help to tell the tale as soon as I can go through them and put my thoughts into words.  It will take some time to get back into the swing of life as we have groceries to buy, laundry to do and other necessities need to be dealt with, too.

The fiber has been unpacked and I give you a peek here.  It's the booty from the glorious days at Rhinebeck. The number of vendors, the amount of wool and tools available were completely overwhelming to this neophyte. Next time I go (2008...hopefully) I'll have more of an idea what to buy. Please allow me to tell you more about the luscious haul next week.

Fiberandgoodiesfromrhinebeck

A wheel did come home with me, but it was purchased from Marcia, and not a vendor at the show.  She just needs the new Kromski portable (can I spill the beans, Marcia?) which will hit the market in November, and had to 'unload' her Lendrum.  I was the very lucky recipient who bought it from her and also brought it home (as luggage) safely.  What a thrill to open the box yesterday morning and set it up, albeit, perhaps bassackwards.  Allow me to introduce Emmylou.  In time she and I will make beautiful music together, there is no doubt.

Meetmissemmylouwhowillmakebeautifulmusic

I can not thank my very talented guest bloggers, Karen and Val, for taking time to set up posts while I was away.  Thank you to all of you for their overwhelming welcome to Blogland.  Perhaps your response will talk them into setting up blogs of their own.   There is so much to tell and today there is very little time to produce much of a post, so let me leave things here.  Over the weekend I'll have time to regroup, look through the pictures and regale you with tales of the trip.  I'll be back tomorrow with a bit more info. It feels good to be home and to be back in Blogland.  Meeting many of my imaginary friends was nothing like meeting strangers, as Cara said, it was more like a reunion!


So Long for Now

Yesterday was so beautiful and I caught this shot just as the clouds slipped away from the mountains. See the new snow?  Brrr, it was a cold day.

Cloudshoveraroundmountainpeakscoveredwit

The trip has begun and we'll be in the East by 4:30 EDT.  Just to show you how much I love you, arrangements have been made with two very nice Stitch 'n Bitch grrls (both blogless) to guest blog while I'm away.  Karen, who is an excellent knitter, dyer and spinner, and who is also helping with the Twisted Knitters, will be sharing her beautiful knits and some spinning (at least that's my guess. She's full of surprises.

Val is also an excellent knitter (don't let her tell you otherwise) and she has a new grandbaby grrl which she'll surely brag about (and show a picture or two).  Val may have a story or two to tell too, as she has a great imagination. Go for it Val!

I appreciate both Val and Karen for their willingness to show off their talents and take over the helm.  The comments will still go to my email address so they will not be able to answer your questions, but both are determined to get as many comments as they can (because they've been challenge by Susan).  They will both be paid in fiberous goodies from Rhinebeck.

Buffaloandwhitbyreadytotakeoff

One purple sock is finished.  The second should be done before I arrive at Rhinebeck!  Yarn for a simple stockinette sock is packed and so is my other knitting. The Buffalo scarf turned out beeoootifully...oh, it is so soft.  Pictures of it in action will come later. 

You were all so helpful with suggestions on flying, which doesn't sound as daunting as it did. Thank you, thank you. Norma said I could blog from her place, but I think I'll let her do the blogging and take a break while the guest bloggers are in charge.  You may spot me on her blog and in the 'after Rhinebeck' reports.  I promise to make a full report as soon as I can, as soon as I get back to dealing with real life.  It may take a few days of short posts to tell you everything.

If you want to join the Twisted Knitters and join in dyeing, spinning and knitting, you can still email me at TwistandKnit at gmail dot com, BUT I will not be able to add you as an author, or to the side bar, until I return after the 25th.  Thank you for your patience. Karen has added a tutorial on crock pot dyeing and there are some good links for dyeing info on the sidebar, thanks to Marcia

See you on the 26th of October  and to the rest of you who will be at Rhinebeck....see you soon!!  Yee Haw!! (Eh, Vicki?)


Festival Fun Days

The party hasn't stopped since last Friday, when Birdsong arrived, and won't really stop until after the Yarn Harlot event at Black Sheep this Friday.

The GBFAF was a blast, with great classes, fiber galore, good friends and just a general atmosphere of good cheer. For a first year event you can say SUCCESS!  Hopefully it will grow and become an annual event for the whole Mountain West.  The venue was Wheeler Farm in the center of the SL Valley (and about 2 miles from my house).  The vendors were outdoors and the classes were under a pavilion. It was a bit hot as the day went on, but overall very nice.

The classes were super fun and very informative. Kate, who dyes under the name Snake River Fiber, taught the dyeing class and we had a very good time watching her and then trying to dye up good results of our own.  Here's Kate:
Addingfibertopotofhotwater_1
Katemeasuresoutcolorbeforepouringintodye Pouringincolorsofbluegreengoldyellow

Adding fiber to pot, measuring color and then adding it to the pot.

Badpictureoftheendresults Secondpotofredroving

Colored fiber after removal from pot and a second 'helping' of red fiber dyeing.

Susan worked hard to create her colorways:

Susantakingoutherveryhotroving Susanintentonherrovingatdyeingworkshop_2 Susanlayingoutherfiberinthesun_1

Taking her hot roving from pot, painting another roving and laying out the fiber in the sun.  My dyed roving is the red/orange, yellow snake in the grass behind Susan's. You can see we have very different ideas about color.

Susanontheleftandmeontheright

The dyeing class was all day and it was fun to see all the different results from the students.

Sunday Birdsong, Susan and I took Elizabeth's Advanced Spinning class.  She gave us a bag of luscious fibers to try and we could use any of her many spindle designs.  We learned so much about which type or weight of spindle to use with which fiber and had good results with most.  Elizabeth is a font of information on spinning and fiber.  Hopefully I'll be able to learn more from her as she lives here in Utah.

Susanandbirdsongspinningatworkshop

The spindles were all so beautiful and it was such a pleasure to meet Elizabeth, her husband Bart, and daughter McKenna Lee.

Elizabethsbeautifulspindlesforsale Elizabethandbartwithdaughter

The Fair had other wonderful happenings. Ann Carroll Gilmour had several helpers 'waulk' her handwoven fabric. A ring of people sat at a table and thumped her tartan while passing it along to the next participant. Ann sang Scottish folk tunes all the while. It was a fun event to see!

Annecarrolgilmourwaulkingandsinging Annesbeautifulwoventartanafterwaulking

And look at this! Susan won a Blue Ribbon for her own design the Mountain Stream Scarf. She spun the fiber (Snake River alpaca/silk/merino) and hand knit it, of course.

Susanswinnigmountainstreamwithhandspunan_1

It will be nice to relax for a couple of nights as I am tired to the bone from all the fun. The rest won't be long however, as there is more fun coming Friday.  Thank goodness a restful weekend is coming up soon.


Looking Forward to the Weekend

Peacefleecethebeautifulpeace_1 While assessing all the WIPs in my life...look what arrived in yesterday's mail.  Peace Fleece courtesy of Norma. Isn't it beautiful!? And that bar of soap is courtesy of Mz Norma, too.  It sure made the PF smell heavenly.  The pink is for me and the blue for Smith (however, *I* will be knitting it for him).  He liked the color when he saw it on-line, but likes it even more 'in person'.  For now it will sit in the stash awaiting inspiration (and some finishing up of already on the needle projects).

It's very hard not be be excited about this weekends events.  Birdsong arrives this afternoon to join us in the fun of the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair. Both of us, along with Susan,will be taking the Advanced Spindle class Sunday morning from Elizabeth Dailey. She's the fabulous maker of my spindle of choice (so far) Greensleeves spindles (and Lizzy Kate).  Susan and I will be in the Dyeing Class all day tomorrow.  Squeee!, as dear Caroleseyz!  It's going to be a fun, fiber, friend filled weekend and I'm fearful it will fly by too quickly (even though it's a day longer than last weekend...sigh).

Potentialforgreatbasindyeingclass_1There is a load of potential, in the way of plain undyed roving, sitting around my junque/studio. Teyani sells her pencil roving in natural and that should be fun to dye, plus there is a bit of merino top sitting here, too.  It's hard to imagine how much we'll learn and what great colorways we'll create using the tools and ideas from the teacher, Kate Robertson.

Make sure you stop by the Fiber Fair as there are several classes that haven't filled and you might get into one. And there will be tons of luscious fiber and other goodies to buy.  Laurie is selling her delectable soaps and Katherine will have Make One T-shirts, too!  Lark made up some spindle earrings (and gave me a pair at SnB on Tuesday), which will be available at the same booth. Stop by the pavilion and give Susan and me a 'hey!'. We'll be 'dyeing' to see you all. 

Lisa is asking us to support her son Brett on his MS Ride.  It would be wonderful if we could at least put together his $150 entrance fee.  Just a few dollars each and we can do it!  You can help spread the word for Lisa and Brett, too.

There may not be any time to blog until Tuesday (sorry no Saturday Sky), but I'll check in when I can.  Have a super holiday and see you after this 'end of summer' weekend. Squeeee!  Sob!


The Booty

Nothing, but NOTHING, can compare with meeting grrlfriends and spending time together.  The reason for going to a Fiber Festival, or Wool Market, has little to do with fiber or wool...it has everything to do with friends.  If nothing had been purchased and brought home, the trip would have still be a success and full of fun, good times.  A nice bonus is the fiber booty that finds it way home in your bag.

Carolesgiftofvesptersockyarn_1BirdsongsgiftofyarnandpinBirdsong and Carole each came bearing gifts of fibery goodness.  Carole picked up a 'skank' of the oft sought after Vesper Sock Yarn as she was amazed I had never tried it. It's the color of a desert sunset and was a perfect choice. Birdsong's gift was a skein of pure silk, in the same color as the yarn she dyed as my Dye-O-Rama pal, and a beautiful bird pin. They make a perfect combo and will soon be made up into a neck scarf that will be held with the pin.  You two grrlfriends are so sweet and I can't wait until we meet again. Thank you for your kindness, laughter, hugs, silliness and generosity.

CassiesprettysockkitwithcarascardCassie was kind enough to send one of her Emergency Sock Kits (along with one of Cara's fabulous cards) as a thank you for knitting her sock pattern (be patient, she's been very busy).  The ESK is beautifully made and will be a perfect companion to my sock bag.  From now on I'll have everything needed to knit and finish a pair of socks at my finger tips.  Thank you Cassie for sharing your talents.

And now, just what you have been waiting for...the Estes Booty.

Plumcolorwayforseraphim_1GorgeousmagentacolorwayfromplainandfancyMy first stop was the Plain and Fancy booth to see Grayce and her lovely selection of hand dyed yarn.  This year she had little lace weight (thankfully I bought mine last year) but, I loaded up on beautiful sport weight.  The colorway on the left, called Magenta, will become a sweater (pullover or cardigan to be decided).  The darker color is called Plum and should knit up nicely into Mim's Seraphim shawl. Surely no one is surprised by the colors purchased.

GalinasmerinolaceforicarusAutumncolorwayfrompfwbrooksfarmsockFrom Skaska this beautiful lace weight merino will become Icarus, another of Mim's fabulous shawl designs, which is in the current  IK magazine. Last, but not least, is a gift for Katherine, as she created the artful design used on our Utah Grrl T-shirts. It's a skein of Brooks Farm's new sock yarn sold only at fiber festivals (for now anyway).  Aija was the winner of last Friday's comment 'contest' and she will receive the Autumn Leaves colorway from Plain and Fancy Wool.  Thank you  for your kind and supportive comments.  It seems that most of you left comments which reflected who you are as a person.  You all rock!